Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools

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About Us

Created by Dr. George Lenchner, an internationally known math educator, the Math Olympiads went public in 1979 and is one of the most influential and fun-filled math competition programs in the United States and throughout the world, with over 120,000 students from every state and 39 participating countries.

Learning to solve problems is the underlying reason for studying mathematics. It is the principal mathematical skill that needs to be developed in children.

Exposure to challenging problems, interesting puzzles, and the associated rich mathematical topics are essential for the development of problem-solving skills.

The objectives of MOEMS® are to teach multiple strategies for out-of-the-box problem solving, develop mathematical flexibility in solving those problems, and foster mathematical creativity and ingenuity.

Dr. George Lenchner

MOEMS Founder
Executive Director (1978 – 1995)

Dr. Lenchner has distinguished himself in many diverse areas. He was a member of a championship high school math team in the mid-1930s, was All-America in Lacrosse at CCNY, was seriously wounded on D-day in 1944, spending over a year in hospitals, and earned a Masters degree in music in 1948 — all before deciding to focus on math education. In 1950 he became a high school mathematics teacher. In 1965 he received an MS in Mathematics from Adelphi University and in 1972 an Ed.D. in Mathematics from T.C. Columbia University.

In 1955 he created the Nassau County (NY) Interscholastic Mathematics League (NCIML) for high school students, perhaps America’s first regional math contest outside of New York City run by the schools themselves. Five years later, he created a similar junior high school league for Nassau County. His article in the Mathematics Teacher (NCTM, February 1959) on the NCIML sparked the formation of similar leagues by many county and state math organizations across the nation. In 1970 he became Director of Mathematics for the Valley Stream School District, working with elementary schools for the first time. His inservice course, The Art of Problem Solving in School Mathematics, meant for Valley Stream teachers, eventually became a book for Houghton Mifflin, one of many books and articles that he authored or co-authored for major academic publishers. A master teacher, his students include several prominent mathematics educators and his workshops have inspired people on four continents to participate in the Math Olympiads.

Among his honors are: National Science Foundation Fellow; HEW Department Fellow; Mathematics Teacher of the Year Award, NYS Society of Professional Engineers; Distinguished Secondary School Teaching Award, Harvard University; Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism, EPA of America; Founder’s Award for Outstanding Service, NCIML; LIMACON Award for Outstanding Contributions to Mathematics Education, Long Island Mathematics Conference; Goudreau Award for Outstanding Contributions to Mathematics Education, Goudreau Museum of Mathematics and Science.

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